Copper futures rose on speculation that consumption will increase amid economic gains in the U.S., the world’s second-biggest consumer of the metal.
Fewer Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week, government data showed today, and U.S. equities rallied. On Jan. 5, copper touched a four-year low on concern that demand will ebb in China, the top user, and Europe.
“We are seeing some mild interest in copper on strong U.S. data after the big drop in prices,” Jeffrey Friedman, a senior commodity broker at RJO Futures in Chicago, said in a telephone interview.
Copper futures for March delivery gained 0.4% to settle at $2.7695 a pound at 1:18 p.m. on the Comex in New York. The metal has dropped 17% in the past 12 months. On Jan. 5, the price touched $2.744, the lowest for a most-active contract since June 8, 2010.
On the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three months declined 0.2% to $6,104 a ton ($2.77 a pound). The price hasn’t posted a gain since Dec. 30.
Zinc, lead, tin and aluminum rose, while nickel was unchanged in London.
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